Skip to main content

Adult Day Center offers opportunities for socialization, fun and caregiver respite

Asha spent much of her career working in medical technology and research. When she retired, she didn’t imagine herself in the role of family caregiver – or at least not yet.

But her husband, Ajit, 76, whose engineering career had taken them from Minnesota to Camarillo and back twice, developed some balance issues, which made him wary about driving and visiting friends – which led to social isolation during retirement.

May contain: face, head, person, photography, portrait, dining table, furniture, table, architecture, building, dining room, indoors, room, flower, flower arrangement, plant, adult, female, woman, wood, accessories, glasses, male, man, jewelry, necklace, flower bouquet, blouse, and clothing
Asha's husband, Ajit, comes to the Adult Day Center three days a week and that time allows Asha much needed respite.

“He is more dependent on me now,” Asha says. “He used to help with dishes and laundry. He tries to help, but I don’t want him to fall, so I stop him from helping.”

While Ajit doesn’t have an official diagnosis, he no longer drives and relies more and more on Asha. She has taken over the family finances and other responsibilities Ajit once held, placing a heavier burden on her shoulders.

A friend recommended the Camarillo Health Care District’s Adult Day Center to give Ajit that social experience he was missing and to give Asha much needed respite so she could take better care of herself. Ajit now spends three full days a week at the Center, which allows his wife time to invest in causes close to her heart, such as the nonprofit India Friends Association of Camarillo, and explore her personal interests.

“My kids say I have to look at it as I get the free time to go to lunch with a friend, run errands, spend time in my garden – time for myself – and I like that,” she says.

Just as satisfying is knowing her husband of 53 years is meeting new people and partaking in activities that stimulate his mind, as well as his creative soul. “As his socialization decreased, I thought this would be a nice way for him to interact.”

“He is happier now,” Asha says. “When I come to pick him up, sometimes he wants to linger. I joke that I am going to bring his sleeping bag so he can stay the night. He knows the caregivers by name. The staff are awesome. I am so impressed with them. They are happy and encouraging, and they do a fabulous job.”

When Ajit returns home, Asha says her husband spends the next 15 minutes or so talking about his day, like singing Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” during karaoke, petting therapy dogs, playing musical instruments and making crafts. In fact, Asha has noticed that the Center has helped reignite her husband’s passion for oil painting.

Asha says she eventually will have to hire a caregiver to help in the home, but for now the Center is meeting their needs and has reduced her feelings of urgency over finding a long-term solution for Ajit’s care. “I say to myself, ‘Now I can relax and take my time,’” she says.

For another family, Angela says if it weren’t for the Camarillo Health Care District, she may have had to quit her job to take care of her 84-year old father, Ignazio, who has been diagnosed with vascular dementia.  He attends the Adult Day Center five days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It takes a village,” Angela says. “My husband and I care for my dad when we are not working and his In-Home Support Services caregiver cares for him while we are at work. The program has helped me to continue my career without accumulating substantial debt. The IHSS hours assigned to him are not enough to cover care for 40 hours each week.

“Also, knowing my dad was well cared for allows me time to make my own medical appointments, socialize, and get bits of needed rest.”

May contain: accessories, glasses, adult, female, person, woman, belt, patient, architecture, building, hospital, male, man, clothing, footwear, shoe, bag, handbag, computer hardware, electronics, hardware, monitor, screen, couch, and furniture
If not for our Adult Day Center, Angela says she would have to quit her job to take care of her dad.

Ignazio spent his career as a chef until 2017. “We enjoy cooking together,” Angela says of her father. He loves reading a daily newspaper and listening to music from the 1940s through 1970s.

Angela said her father appeared withdrawn and was initially resistant to attending the Adult Day Center. But then he warmed up to staff and other attendees pretty quickly. “Now he seems to feel free to let his personality shine much more,” she says. “He comes home in a good mood. I appreciate the staff taking the time to draw him out of his shell.”

Ignazio’s family has also utilized the Camarillo Health Care District’s Senior Nutrition Program to receive Home-Delivered Meals and to connect to resources such as Habitat for Humanity, which helped install grab bars in the bathroom.

They also appreciate the support from District staff.  “(Adult Day Center Director) Mary Ann Ratto has been a great listener and offered helpful suggestions many times when I was stuck or trying to find viable solutions to various situations that arise,” Angela says.


Join our mailing list
// Gives all iframes a generic title